Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Millionaire Odds

For Christmas I treated myself to $120 dollars worth of lottery tickets for the Florida Holiday Millionaire Raffle. I know many people think of lottery as a tax on the poor (or the stupid) but I look at it differently. Fortunately…or maybe it is due to hard work and staying within my means…I live a comfortable lifestyle. The loss of $120 will not keep me from having food, shelter, sporting goods or anything else that I desire (within reason) but is giving me hope (no matter how small) of a life changing event.

A few days from now I will either have enough money to buy a house and retire 10 years early or I will be out $120 that I won’t even miss. It seems like a worthwhile chance to me. Should I feel the need to justify the expense I can always say I’m supporting education or paying back the lottery grants I received in college.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed...although it makes it hard to type…and enjoying dreaming of being financially secure so I can pursue other life goals. My great novel, daily blogging and more travel time are only a few numbers away!

Cat “Show me the Money” Cathy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gotta Have the Girl in the Mercedes Benz

After 17 years of driving a pick up truck I’m enjoying having something nicer and all the celebrations that go along with it showing it to my friends. I’ve spent the last month just celebrating with small groups of friends as they see my shiny new blue Mercedes SLK hard top retractable sports car. This fun alone has made the car purchase a great idea and I’m hoping for many more fun experiences in the years to come. Here are some of my celebrations to date:

-I showed up at my boyfriend’s parents’ house with the car straight from the dealer’s lot. I wasn’t sure they would be up to celebrating but they came running out of the house with the dogs and bells and lots of happiness and laughing.

-I surprised my friend who has a matching burgundy SLK by just showing up for our weekly skate without telling her first. We took pictures and compared cars. We decided to form a club. The former roller derby skaters SLK club…we don’t expect to get many members with such tight guidelines.

-After a social event, several girls came out to see my car and we put the stereo on loud with some dance music. All the girls started dancing on the car and it was like something out of an MTV video as these girls could really move it. It was so much fun just dancing in a parking lot and something I hadn’t done in years.

-I showed it off to a few coworkers who started asking about the motor size. To which I responded “it’s blue”. That’s my way of saying I have no clue but I’m just a girl so who cares. Unfortunately these were my engineering coworkers so they said that wouldn’t work and as an engineer I needed to know about the mechanics.

-I showed it to a bunch of my mountain biker friends at a party. I wanted to let them hear the loud stereo which was playing The Little Mermaid music at this point. So we sang and danced along while hanging out in the street.

-My boyfriend who helped tremendously in my car buying decision also joined the celebrations. I’m not sure if he is happy about the car or happy that he no longer has to spend time looking with me and hearing me complain. He gave me a huge list of Mercedes songs. It was funny and sweat but quickly deleted most of them since they were gangster rap and not really the image I was hoping for in my new car. His second favorite was Gold Digger by Kanye West which says "She gonna make it into a Benz out of that Datson". This seemed appropriate since my last car was a Nissan (Formerly known as Datsun). But his absolute favorite song was Mercedes Benz by Say Yes which says "I gotta have the girl in the Mercedes Benz". This was so sweet and romantic to me but I guess I have a silly idea of romance.

Wow and I thought I made a big deal out of birthdays but they pale in comparison to my car celebrations. I’m ok with that since it will be a long time before I get another chance for ‘new car’ celebrations. I think we should all take time to celebrate all the good things in life!

Cat “Happy to be Blue” Cathy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Love my Job of Pay the Bills ???

I recently attended team building training for my job. One of the first questions we were asked was “why did we come to work each day”. The room was silent. I was thinking, probably like everyone else in the room, “because I need the money”. Our trainer said if it is just for a paycheck then you need to rethink your motives.

She had a point. As something you do five days a week it should be more than just a paycheck but lets be honest here….who grows up saying they want to pick up trash or any of a number of menial jobs that are out there? But these jobs need to get done. Since my job is not in the entertainment field as a professional athlete, actress, comedian or rock star I think I’ve pretty much settled. Is that a bad thing? I’m not necessarily sure. Yes I’d much rather be a rock star but it didn’t seem to be in the cards (or guitars) for me. Should I give up what I have and live in squalor while I try to make my dream come true? I’d say my chance of rock stardom is zilch since my voice is horrible and I can’t play any instruments and don’t have a long enough attention span to learn. My chances at being a professional athlete are only slightly better. I have been a pro-am Jet Ski racer and a professional roller derby skater in the past but neither career paid much and now that I’m 41 it would be harder to compete with people 20 years younger. My best chance of making it would be as an actress or comedian but even those are long shots for making a decent living.

Maybe just realizing that I am doing an important job and will do it to the best of my ability and make the most fun out of it I can even if it is not really my ‘dream job’ is ok. I’m not really sure. Some days I wish I hadn’t settled but that is easy to say as I sit in my comfy office with my comfy car and other toys. There are a lot of choices in life and it’s not always win or lose but rather shades of grey. Chances are I may have enjoyed an entertainment career more but would have struggled more, not gotten my engineering degree which I’m very proud of, and most likely have different regrets if I’d chosen that path. I guess I will never know. But what I do know is I have a great life anyway and I can blog and work part time in the entertainment world on the side. Plus I don’t know what the future holds and I’m always ready if a new and interesting opportunity presents itself.

Cat “The Entertainer” Cathy

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Touristy Day in NYC

Our last day in NYC was a trip to the Statue of Liberty. I was really excited to see this even though I know it is basically a tourist trap and I have enough of that with Walt Disney World. But my grandparents were some of the huddled masses that came over and saw Lady Liberty and I just loved feeling like I was seeing history.

This trip took much longer than I would have liked with most of the day just waiting in line for ferries and entrance to the statue. After Liberty Island we headed over to Ellis Island which was completely refurbished a few years back. They have a great museum with lots of old pictures of immigrants. The museum also shows the history of the island and it was interesting to note that the island was abandoned and the buildings in disrepair as recently as the 80’s.

We returned by ferry to Manhattan with the dilemma of how to get rid of the bikes before we got on the subway in rush hour traffic. We had speculated throughout our trip on what we would do with them…give them to charity, a helpful local kid, sell them…who knows. While we were trying to decide a man opened a nice little box and said “wanna buy a Rolex”? I said “no, wanna buy a bicycle?” And just like that one of our bikes was gone. The second bike went to another vendor selling t-shirts. He seemed like a good kid and I was glad I could help him out a bit. We sold these bikes cheap since we really just wanted to get rid of them and had already saved a lot of money by buying bikes over renting them for the week anyway. Of course, being the sentimental people we are, we just had to take goodbye pictures with our bikes before we sold them.

Without bikes I felt a bit like a kryptonite infected superman. All of a sudden we were moving at mere mortal speeds. We walked to the New York Stock Exchange – where most of my fortune was lost. Then we walked to the former location of the twin towers just days before the 9-11 anniversary. The day was so pretty and peaceful that it was hard for me to even imagine that day 8 years ago. It was a very sad moment for me. I felt bad for all the families forever affected by that horrible event. The one bright spot was thinking of all the friendly New Yorkers I’d met during my vacation and the many people I saw enjoying the Brooklyn Bridge and other city landmarks. I’m sure many of the people lost that day loved their city and will be happy that it is still prospering and a safe and happy place to be.

Cat “Farewell my Northern Friends” Cathy